Atlanta Hawks head coach Larry Drew has finalized his 2010-11 coaching staff with the hiring of former pro Nick Van Exel to the position of Player Development Instructor, it was announced this afternoon.  Van Exel, comes to Atlanta from Texas Southern University, where he served as an assistant coach.

“We’re very excited to add Nick to the staff,” said Drew.  “I think he brings a wealth of knowledge to the position, and given his past experiences, he’ll be really vital to the development of our young guards, particularly Jeff Teague and Jordan Crawford.  With the staff we currently have on board, I believe Nick will do a tremendous job for us moving forward.”

A second round draft pick of the Los Angeles Lakers in 1993, Van Exel brings 13 seasons of NBA experience to the Hawks staff in addition to 76 playoff games and one All-Star Game appearance (1998), having tallied career averages of 14.4 points and 6.6 assists (.405 FG%, .794 FT%).  During his career with the Lakers, “Nick the Quick” was known as a flashy player who had the ability to deliver points in bunches and hitting game-winning shots.  In five years in LA, he finished with 14.9 points per game and 7.3 assists, finishing in the top ten in the league in that category on two occasions.

He joined Denver prior to the 1998-99 season and spent four years with the Nuggets, raising his scoring average in almost every season.  Over that period, Van Exel posted 17.9 ppg and 8.3 apg, averaging 21.4 points through the first 27 games of the 2001-02 season before he was traded along with three others to the Dallas Mavericks.

Following two seasons with Mavericks, Van Exel played for three different clubs over the next three years (Golden State, 2003-04; Portland, 2004-05; and San Antonio, 2005-06) before calling it a career.

Named to the NBA’s All-Rookie second team in 1994, Van Exel played his final two collegiate seasons at the University of Cincinnati, where he led the Bearcats in both points (18.3 ppg) and assists (4.5 apg) as a senior.  He led UC to an NCAA Final Four appearance and earned third-team All-America honors (AP, Basketball Times and Basketball Weekly) in addition to being selected as a finalist for the Wooden Award.

Nick Van Exel was born November 27, 1971 in Kenosha, WI.